One’s enjoyment of this movie hinges on your knowledge of and enjoyment of the music of Britain’s Status Quo, along with your retroism for the Beatles’ movies A Hard Day’s Night or, more accurately, Help! — you know, the one where the band’s on the run (sorry) when Ringo becomes of the target of a religious cult that covets his gaudy ruby ring.
With that being said, this movie isn’t intended for U.S. audiences who came to know the boogie-rock purveyors for their 1968 psychedelic-influenced hit “Pictures of Matchstick Men“; this movie is meant for the U.K. audiences — an audience that helped Status Quo outrank the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Queen by placing 61 of the band’s singles in the U.K. Top 40, with 22 of those singles reaching the Top 10 — more than any other U.K. band.
So, in commemoration of their upcoming 30th studio album, Bela Quo!, the band shot this movie in four weeks on a three million dollar shoestring while on vacation in Fiji — along with a corresponding double soundtrack album.
The story is a simple one: Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo, playing themselves, while on tour with Status Quo on the Pacific Island country of Fiji, become involved in mafia intrique after witnessing a murder. The fact that SNL’s Jon Lovitz (of the later Almost Sharkproof) serves as Rossi and Parfitt’s co-star tells you this film wears its self-deprecating humor on its sleeves — and Rossi and Parfitt play the “aging rock stars” quite well.
Also known as Guitars, Guns and Paradise in other overseas markets (the band has a rabid fan base throughout Europe, Australia and the Pacific Rim counties), the Quo’s lone film isn’t a blockbuster and it’s certainly not an Oscar winner. But it’s a fun film with plenty of action, comedy, and great music by the kings of boogie rock (honorable mentions to Savoy Brown and Foghat, of course).
If you get a chance, do check out a few of my personal .mp3 player favorites from their early ’70’s catalog, such as “Caroline,” “Down Down,” “Down the Dust Pipe,” and “Paper Plane.” Yeah, when it came to down n’ dirty jeans n’ t-shirt (and leather vests) rock ‘n’ roll, Status Quo was the shite and a bag ‘o chips. You can get all the Status Quo you need, and more, over at their official You Tube page.
Now, if only Uriah Heep would make a movie . . . or how’s about Phil Mogg and UFO thwarting a Bond-like madman from stealing a cache of missiles to start WWIII (hey, it worked for Cliff Richard and the Shadows)?